Homeward Bound

The much-hyped depth of the CAA is already playing out. VCU took down Drexel (in Richmond), and Northeastern made ODU work very hard on Saturday. This follows ODU squeaking by GMU (in Norfolk), GMU beating VCU (in Farifax), Drexel beating ODU (in Philly), and VCU beating Hofstra (in Richmond).

Seven teams are between 4-1 and 3-2 in the conference. Seven. Predictions now are insane. Coaches often utilize the cliche “one game at a time,” but I’ve always said that as a fan, we get luxury to look as far out as we’d like. But ni this case, I’ll reel that back a bit.

For example, I’m looking past Thursday’s games (ODU/Ga State, VCU/JMU, Hofstra/Towson) to Saturday: VCU travels to ODU and UNCW heads to Hempstead. But trying to look far out will get you into trouble. This will be a week-by-week deal, so get used to it.

The message: win at home or play on Friday.

***

About those Monarchs…let me clear when I say I’m not taking shots at ODU. Let me also be clear in saying this team is nowhere near the team it was last season. I spent some legit time thinking about it this weekend (well, I had to clean the house after the holidays so I had to think about something to keep me from gouging out my own eyes…) and I came to the realization that ODU is missing that galvanizing force this year.

What I mean is this: somebody has got to step up and be a leader on this team. It’s not Isaiah Hunter. And Alex Loughton isn’t getting it done. Drew Williamson, in my opinion, is possibly the most important player in the league, but I think he is more of a silent leader, letting his play do the talking.

Kiah Thomas is missed more than anybody realizes.

I nominate Arnaud Dahi. He plays with emotion, plays minutes, and plays hurt. He is also an upperclassman. Dahi is also the guy that can tell the rest of the team to get the ball to Loughton more. You know, the reigning CAA POY? That guy. Loughton needs more shots.

Dahi is also the guy that can tell Loughton he needs to take more shots. Unselfishness is a great trait, until it becomes time to be selfish. A star needs to be selfish.

Don’t be fooled by two things: (1) ODU is fortunate to be 4-1 in the league. Very fortunate. (2) ODU still has more talent top to bottom than any team in the league. The Monarchs will finish no worse than 14-4 during the regular season, and I’m 50/50 on the record being better. But if someone doesn’t step up and lead that team, falling behind 18-5 in the CAA tournament will be unrecoverable.

***

Chris Berman noted BA Walker’s Buzzer Beater to down Drexel on Saturday.

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~ by mglitos on January 9, 2006.

2 Responses to “Homeward Bound”

  1. Your anonymous monarch here again. Pretty fair assessment. It’s hard to repeat what the Monarchs did last year – 28-5. I’d say with this year’s schedule they are in about the same position as last year. Not in record, but in anticipation building and expectations. I agree its time for AL and more of Dahi to set it up but if you look at this team, anyone of 7 guys can step up and burn you on any given night. Every team has a personality and what I like about this team, and maybe what is different from last year, is they are fixing and solving and improving as they go forward through the schedule… so maybe when they get to the end of the year they peak on schedule (unlike last year), hit full stride and make that run in the post season. Verdict is still out on the accomplishment part.

    rh

  2. Can’t disagree with one word of that (except for, perhaps, “pretty fair.”)

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